Maintaining a healthy lawn will need regular mowing. But one of the biggest concerns house owners want to know is the time it takes to mow a lawn. There is no one-size-fits-in-all because of several factors depending on the mowing time.
The time it takes to mow a lawn depends on the size of the lawn and the type of mower used. For an average-sized lawn of 1/4 to 1/2 acre, it can take between 30 minutes to 1 hour to mow using a walk-behind mower. A riding mower can cut down the time to 20-30 minutes. However, the time may vary based on the complexity of the terrain, obstacles, and other factors.
When discussing the accurate time to mow the lawn, there are several things to understand. If you are a beginner, this guide can help you know an estimated time required to mow a lawn and ways to reduce mowing time.
Lawn mowing time: An average and comparative guide for different lawn sizes
It is tough to determine the average mowing time of the lawn.
Several factors determine the timing.
However, once you consider the factors, you can receive an estimated time to mow the lawn.
You can take 30 to 45 minutes to mow the lawn.
On average, there are three sizes of lawns – small, medium, and large.
The average mowing time for small lawns around 1,000 square feet is 15 to 30 minutes, provided you have mowing experience.
These lawns are effectively mowed with a push or a good reel mower.
For medium-sized lawns up to 1,000 to 5,000 square feet, you will take an average of 30 to 60 minutes to mow.
Based on the mower operator’s experience and mower type, the time can be higher or lower than the average.
If you have a large lawn measuring over 5,000 square feet, you will take around 1 to 3 hours to mow the whole lawn.
Since the size is large, you must consider the lawn’s complexity, equipment, grass condition, and other things.
Read on to learn the factors that can affect the average mowing timing.
The time factor: Mowing duration based on several factors
Generally, it can take around 30 minutes to several hours to mow a lawn.
But for a bigger picture, you must learn the factors affecting and varying the mowing time.
Knowing the factors will let you know the, if not accurate, close to accurate timing for mowing a lawn.
As a beginner, you cannot rely on a single individual’s recommended time. So, let’s learn the factors in detail.
There are several sizes of lawns.
On average, you will have three sizes: small, medium, and large.
No matter how big and fast your mower is, you will need more time to mow an extensive lawn and less time for a small yard.
The average size of American lawns keeps shrinking with the increased house prices, inflation, and increase in the neighborhood and multiple constructions.
In the old days, the average yard size in the US was 0.22 acres.
Today, the average size has decreased due to average income, family size, population density, and the changes between the different sections of the US.
According to the research, the average yard sizes in old times were 0.22 acres in the North, South, and West.
Recently, the average size of the yards is 0.25 acres in the North, 0.17 acres in the South, and 0.16 acres in the West.
Based on this information, we can say that the mowing time has been reduced to a great extent.
And along with the innovations of the new lawn mower designs and models, you will take much less time to mow compared to the older times.
The type of mower you use can also alter the mowing time from person to person.
A push mower takes longer than a riding, zero-turn, and robotic mower.
But a reel mower will take longer to mow than a push mower.
The timing also gets affected based on the mower’s efficiency and maintenance.
If the machine has been maintained regularly, it will mow faster than those that are not maintained regularly.
As a result, the well-maintained mower takes less time to mow.
Speed and size of the mower
The size and speed of a mower also determine the mowing time.
There are several types of mowers, and they operate differently from each other. Each has different speeds.
For example, a push mower has a speed of 3 MPH, whereas a lawn tractor has a 3 to 5 MPH speed.
A zero-turn mower is divided into two parts – commercial and residential.
The commercial mower has a speed of 7 to 13 MPH, and the residential mower has a 5 to 8 MPH speed.
The more speed a mower has, the faster you can mow a lawn.
With a push mower and lawn tractor, you will take around 30 minutes to 1 hour to mow a 1-acre lawn.
The zero-turn mowers will take only 9 to 26 minutes to mow the same lawn.
Next comes the mower size. The bigger the size, the faster the mowing.
For example, a 22-inch push mower will take 90 minutes to mow a 1-acre lawn, but a 30-inch mower takes 70 minutes to mow the same lawn.
The terrains are different in all areas.
If your lawns are flat, mowing will take less than an hour.
But with rough or inclined terrains, you need to be careful.
Tire punctures in rough terrains and oil or fuel leakage in inclined surfaces are possible.
So, you will need to be careful and patient while mowing, and it will take a lot of time to mow your rough or inclined lawns.
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All the lawn conditions are different.
A dry lawn will take less time to mow than a wet one.
Some lawns will have wet patches or are full of trees, walls, or hills, and some lawns are simple: straight surfaces, clean, and dry.
So, the lawn full of wet grass and trees will take longer to mow.
You will face a lot of obstacles in the way while mowing.
It will increase the mowing time to a great extent.
But a clean lawn with no such long trees and wet patches takes less time to get cleaned.
A lawn with long grass takes longer than one with short grass.
When the grass becomes too tall, the mower cannot cut them properly.
The grass clippings sometimes block the mower deck or lead to uneven cutting.
In such a condition, you must clean the deck frequently and mow the lawn more than once to create a clean look. So, this will take longer.
But, if the grass is already short, you can mow them easily without any repetition.
User skill and experience
A beginner can take more time to mow than one with skill and experience.
A beginner needs time to calculate everything related to mowing: the machine’s speed and capacity, whether everything is correct, the functions of different components, whether it has enough fuel and oil to run, the grass’s condition, the lawn’s condition, and several other things.
The more you know about these things, the faster you can handle the mower machine.
You will need more time to mow if you do not have enough skills.
As a mower user, you must regularly take care of the mower to keep them in shape.
The better you care for it, the more efficiently it will mow the grass.
Make sure to keep the blades sharp and the deck clean.
Please change the filters and spark plugs regularly, change the fuel/oil when you are not using it, and store them in a location away from heat.
Calculating mowing time for different lawn dimensions
When you need to mow your lawn, it is essential to find the right time to mow it.
The above factors can no doubt help, but you will still need to run a few calculations for an estimated time.
Here is a step-by-step guide to calculate the mowing time for your lawn.
Measure the lawn size in square yards.
If your lawn is irregularly shaped and large, break it down into small sections and measure each separately.
Convert the value into acres by multiplying it by 0.000206612. Or, you can use an online method to convert it.
For example, if you have 500 square feet of lawn, you have 0.103306 acres.
Now find out how fast you can mow.
The mowing equipment is an essential factor here. Different mowers have different limits and capacities.
A push mower works faster than a reel mower, and a zero-turn or robotic mower works faster than a push mower. Here is a small guide:
- A push reel mower is ideal for small lawns measuring ¼ acre. It can mow 2-4 miles per hour and has a cutting width of 14-18 inches.
- Self-propelled mowers are ideal for medium lawns measuring ½ acre with a mowing speed of 3-5 miles per hour. It has a cutting width of 16-30 inches.
- Riding mowers are for large lawns measuring 1 acre. It can mow around 4-6 miles per hour and cover maximum ground faster than the others. The cutting width is 36-54 inches.
- Zero-turn mowers are also used in large lawns measuring 1 acre or mower. These mowers can mow around 6-10 miles per house and have a cutting width of 36-72 inches.
You can select anyone based on your lawn size.
Note down the cutting width of your mower.
The mowing time will vary since lawnmowers can be of various sizes.
Take out an online calculator and write down all the information on the calculator.
The online calculator will provide you with an estimated time you will need for mowing.
Remember that this time won’t be an actual time.
It will vary based on your skill and experience, mower type, lawn condition, grass condition, and other factors.
For example, an 18-inch self-propelled push mower will take 1¾ hours to mow one acre of lawn, and a 30-inch riding mower will take only 40 minutes to mow 1 acre.
The time you receive from the calculator will be close to when you need to mow, but not an exact one.
Extra time for trimming and edging
Besides mowing, you must trim and edge the lawn for a polished and clean look.
These tasks will add extra time to your mowing time after you have finished the usual mowing.
So, this is another factor that can vary the mowing time.
In trimming, you use a string trimmer around the trees, fences, or flower beds and cut the grass that is hard to reach.
In edging, you use an edger to make a clean and defined look along the lawn border.
These tasks are time-consuming.
So, if you take 1 hour to mow your lawn, with these jobs, you will take 30-45 minutes extra to mow your lawn and give it a polished touch completely.
From small to spacious: A table of Estimated mowing time
Here is a table of different lawn sizes and their estimated mowing time
I will share the mowing time based on the 3 mower types because I have used all three.
Use a mowing calculator to find the estimated time if you have a different mower or lawn size.
|Lawn Size (in square feet)||Push Reel Mower||Riding Mower||Self-propelled|
|500-1,000 sq. ft||25 to 35 minutes||15 to 25 minutes||20 to 30 minutes|
|1,000-5,000 sq. ft||30 to 45 minutes||20 to 30 minutes||40 to 60 minutes|
|5,000-10,000 sq. ft||1 to 1.5 hours||30 to 45 minutes||45 to 75 minutes|
|10,000-20,000 sq. ft ( nearly ¼ acre)||45 to 60 minutes||20 to 30 minutes||30 to 45 minutes|
|20,000-30,000 sq. ft (nearly ½ acre)||90 to 120 minutes||30 to 45 minutes||60 to 90 minutes|
|30,000-40,000 sq. ft||3 to 4 hours||1.5 to 2 hours||2 to 3 hours|
|40,000-50,000 sq. ft ( nearly 1 acre)||3 to 4 hours||1 to 2 hours||2 to 3 hours|
Remember that these are rough estimations of the mowing time.
It can change according to living areas, mower type, lawn condition, and terrain.
Tips to optimize the mowing process and reduce the mowing time
If you take too long to mow your lawn, you can use some tips and tricks to optimize the mowing process and reduce the time.
Let’s have a look at the tips:
Maintain the mower well
Regular maintenance of the mower keeps it efficient and in good shape.
A good, well-maintained mower can mow efficiently without any problem.
So, you will need to spend less time behind mowing with such mowers.
The equipment will work smoothly and fast, without any problems in between.
The cuts will be clean, and your lawn will look well-polished.
Keep the blades sharpened, change the filters and spark plugs regularly, keep the carburetor clean, and change the oil and fuels when they go bad.
Choose the right mowing time and pattern
The right time to mow is when the lawn is dry.
A wet lawn will increase your mowing time because the grass clippings can stay attached to the deck and block it.
As a result, your mower won’t be able to cut the grass properly.
Additionally, take care of the pattern. Always mow in straight lines and not zigzag.
Moving in straight lines leads to faster and clean mowing with even cuts.
Try to move alternatively between the different mowing patterns every time you are mowing.
It will prevent compact soil, improve grass growth, and make future mowing sessions faster and more efficient.
Wear the proper footwear and clothing while mowing, and ensure your mower is in good condition.
Take time to check for loose stones and debris, and remove them if they are too dirty.
A clean lawn can reduce your mowing time to a great extent because there won’t be any obstacles in your way while mowing, and you won’t face any challenges like punctures.
Keep pets and children away during mowing.
Use the right equipment
Choosing a mower with the right deck size and a high-powered engine is better if your lawn is big enough.
A mower with a large deck and high engine power covers the maximum area of your lawn with a single pass and reduces the number of passes.
So you can complete mowing in less time.
Here is a small guide to the mower deck size according to different lawns:
- Small to medium lawn – 30 to 42 inches of deck
- Medium to large lawns – 42 to 54 inches of deck
- Large to extra large lawns – 54 inches and up
The time you need to mow your lawn depends on various factors like the lawn’s condition and size, the equipment’s condition, mower type and engine power, weather conditions, terrain type, and user skill and experience. Based on these variables, you cannot select any one exact time it takes to mow the lawn.
Whenever you are calculating the time, make sure to put these factors into account and then calculate. The calculated time you take to mow the lawn will increase if your lawn requires trimming and edging for an extra polished and professional look.
To optimize the mowing process and reduce the mowing time, maintain your mower well for good efficiency, mow in straight lines, and use the right mower with the ideal depth and engine power needed for your lawn. You can use push reels or self-propelled mowers if your lawn is small. For extensive lawns, go for mowers with big mower decks, high engine power, and high speed, such as robotic and zero-turn mowers.
How often should I mow my lawn?
It depends on how fast your lawn grass is growing. Once a week would be fine. Mow cool-season grass like Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, or Ryegrass frequently during spring and fall. Mow warm-season grass like Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine during the summer.
What is the best time to mow the lawn?
Mowing should be done early morning or late afternoon when the grass is dry, and the temperature is cool. If the grass is wet, wait some time to let it dry. Mowing wet grass takes a lot of time to mow.
Reference: Lawnmower Wikipedia